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Galen Rupp loves to run along the lakefront when he visits Chicago. He occasionally gets noticed as the city’s former marathon champion rather than just an exceptionally fast runner among those who pack the path on sunny days.
“It’s still a weird thing for people to know who you are,” Rupp told the Tribune on Thursday. “I love running along the lake. It’s literally one of the most gorgeous runs I could go on. The architecture of the city is so cool. The people are great here. Obviously I love running here.”
As he works to overcome a foot injury, Rupp logged some miles in the city this week to prepare for the Oct. 13 Chicago Marathon. He’ll have missed nearly a year of competitive marathoning when he returns to the course where he won in 2017.
“It was an easy decision for me to come back here,” Rupp said.
Rupp finished fifth in Chicago last year in 2 hours, 6 minutes, 21 seconds. His coach, Alberto Salazar, revealed two weeks later that Rupp had surgery after the race to fix a condition called Haglund’s deformity, a bone protrusion in his left heel that had worn on his Achilles tendon and partially tore it.
His doctor emphasized how serious the injury could be if Rupp didn’t follow his orders to ease off running. Taking it easy wasn’t easy for Rupp.
“(My doctor) said the only thing I could do wrong is be too aggressive,” he said. “It takes six months to heal. He knows (athletes are) going to try to push it. But he did a good job of scaring me enough. If it went bad, it could have been a career-ender for me. As simple as that.”
Rupp said he’s pleased with his recovery. He’s running about 85 miles per week.
While he recovered, he cross-trained about three hours a week with biking and pool workouts, including running on a water treadmill. He said the break from running was probably good for him from a mental standpoint.
A two-time Olympic medalist, Rupp also hopes to make a fourth U.S. Olympic team at the marathon trials in February in Atlanta. He has won three marathons (the Olympic trials in 2016, Chicago in 2017 and Prague in 2018) and finished second in Boston in 2017.
His time of 2:06:07 in Prague made him the the second-fastest U.S. marathoner of all time behind Khalid Khannouchi’s 2002 record of 2:05:38 in London.
Rupp will face a strong field in Chicago this fall.(06/10/2019) ⚡AMP
Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the pinnacle of achievement for elite athletes and everyday runners alike. On race day, runners from all 50 states andmore than 100 countries will set out to accomplish a personal dream by reaching the finish line in Grant Park. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast...more...